Access Control In Institutional Settings

On July 30, Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center in Santa Fe, New Mexico underwent a full lockdown for over an hour. A nearby gang related shooting prompted the hospital to “[go] into lockdown mode until the situation [was] resolved and it’s been determined that there is no danger to patients or visitors”, according to Arturo Delgado, a hospital spokesman.

In the past, emergency lockdowns of this sort were achieved through the physical  act of locking all entrances to a complex, and often using human security guards to enforce the lockdown. A modern, state of the art access control system can dramatically reduce response times and overall security, “giving you the ability to lock all exterior doors with a couple clicks of a button, not allowing any entry whatsoever.” (

The ability to selectively limit access to certain areas through the use of key fobs (or even biometric scans) can of course also do much to limit lockdown emergencies from occurring in the first place. A log of who went where and when can be consulted later during any investigation, and is a further measure of protection from liability.

In a setting like a school or hospital, where there is typically a lot of traffic from the public, a professional access control system designed and installed “turn-key” can be the difference between a lawsuit and “crisis averted”.